The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Drive a tractor-trailer combination or a truck with a capacity of at least 26,001 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). May be required to unload truck. Requires commercial drivers’ license. Includes tow truck drivers.
Sample of reported job titles:
CDL Driver (Commercial Driver’s License Driver), Driver, Line Haul Driver, Log Truck Driver, Over the Road Driver (OTR Driver), Production Truck Driver, Road Driver, Semi Truck Driver, Tractor Trailer Driver, Truck Driver
Check all load-related documentation for completeness and accuracy.
Inspect loads to ensure that cargo is secure.
Check vehicles to ensure that mechanical, safety, and emergency equipment is in good working order.
Crank trailer landing gear up or down to safely secure vehicles.
Obtain receipts or signatures for delivered goods and collect payment for services when required.
Maintain logs of working hours or of vehicle service or repair status, following applicable state and federal regulations.
Read bills of lading to determine assignment details.
Report vehicle defects, accidents, traffic violations, or damage to the vehicles.
Perform basic vehicle maintenance tasks, such as adding oil, fuel, or radiator fluid, performing minor repairs, or washing trucks.
Couple or uncouple trailers by changing trailer jack positions, connecting or disconnecting air or electrical lines, or manipulating fifth-wheel locks.
Maneuver trucks into loading or unloading positions, following signals from loading crew and checking that vehicle and loading equipment are properly positioned.
Collect delivery instructions from appropriate sources, verifying instructions and routes.
Drive trucks with capacities greater than 3 tons, including tractor-trailer combinations, to transport and deliver products, livestock, or other materials.
Read and interpret maps to determine vehicle routes.
Check conditions of trailers after contents have been unloaded to ensure that there has been no damage.
Operate equipment, such as truck cab computers, CB radios, phones, or global positioning systems (GPS) equipment to exchange necessary information with bases, supervisors, or other drivers.
Drive trucks to weigh stations before and after loading and along routes in compliance with state regulations.
Load or unload trucks or help others with loading or unloading, using special loading-related equipment or other equipment as necessary.
Plan or adjust routes based on changing conditions, using computer equipment, global positioning systems (GPS) equipment, or other navigation devices, to minimize fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
Perform emergency roadside repairs, such as changing tires or installing light bulbs, tire chains, or spark plugs.
Remove debris from loaded trailers.
Secure cargo for transport, using ropes, blocks, chain, binders, or covers.
Follow appropriate safety procedures for transporting dangerous goods.
Inventory and inspect goods to be moved to determine quantities and conditions.
Follow special cargo-related procedures, such as checking refrigeration systems for frozen foods or providing food or water for livestock.
Install or remove special equipment, such as tire chains, grader blades, plow blades, or sanders.
Wrap and secure goods using pads, packing paper, containers, or straps.
Operate idle reduction systems or auxiliary power systems to generate power from alternative sources, such as fuel cells, to reduce idling time, to heat or cool truck cabins, or to provide power for other equipment.
Give directions to laborers who are packing goods and moving them onto trailers.
Operate trucks equipped with snowplows or sander attachments to maintain roads in winter weather.
Drive electric or hybrid-electric powered trucks or alternative fuel-powered trucks to transport and deliver products, livestock, or other materials.
Analytical or scientific software — Omnitracs Performance Monitoring
Data base user interface and query software — ddlsoftware.com drivers daily log program DDL; Fog Line Software Truckn Pro; TruckersHelper
Desktop communications software — Eko
Inventory management software — Computerized inventory tracking software; Inventory tracking software
Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software — PeopleNet
Route navigation software — ALK Technologies PC*Miler; MarcoSoft Quo Vadis
Time accounting software — ADP ezLaborManager
Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Detailed Work Activities
Follow safety procedures for vehicle operation.
Inspect cargo to ensure it is properly loaded or secured.
Review documents or materials for compliance with policies or regulations.
Operate vehicles or material-moving equipment.
Collect fares or payment from customers.
Review work orders or schedules to determine operations or procedures.
Notify others of emergencies, problems, or hazards.
Record operational or production data.
Record service or repair activities.
Report vehicle or equipment malfunctions.
Maintain vehicles in good working condition.
Connect cables or electrical lines.
Verify information or specifications.
Read maps to determine routes.
Inspect cargo areas for cleanliness or condition.
Operate communications equipment or systems.
Acquire supplies or equipment.
Load shipments, belongings, or materials.
Adjust routes or speeds as necessary.
Choose optimal transportation routes or speeds.
Install parts, assemblies, or attachments in transportation or material handling equipment.
Monitor cargo area conditions.
Package materials or products.
Operate green energy production equipment.
Remove debris or damaged materials.
Direct material handling or moving activities.
In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 96% responded “Every day.”
Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 76% responded “Every day.”
Frequency of Decision Making — 76% responded “Every day.”
Duration of Typical Work Week — 80% responded “More than 40 hours.”
Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 58% responded “Very important results.”
Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 65% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 67% responded “Every day.”
Freedom to Make Decisions — 65% responded “A lot of freedom.”
Time Pressure — 60% responded “Every day.”
Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 46% responded “Every day.”
Contact With Others — 50% responded “Constant contact with others.”
Spend Time Sitting — 56% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
Face-to-Face Discussions — 50% responded “Every day.”
Consequence of Error — 56% responded “Extremely serious.”
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 38% responded “Very important.”
Telephone — 49% responded “Every day.”
Exposed to Contaminants — 48% responded “Every day.”
Structured versus Unstructured Work — 43% responded “A lot of freedom.”
Deal With External Customers — 42% responded “Extremely important.”
Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 44% responded “Very high responsibility.”
Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 35% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 49% responded “Every day.”
Work With Work Group or Team — 36% responded “Extremely important.”
Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 41% responded “Extremely important.”
Electronic Mail — 34% responded “Every day.”
Level of Competition — 27% responded “Moderately competitive.”
Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 29% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 29% responded “Every day.”
Coordinate or Lead Others — 30% responded “Extremely important.”
- Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
- These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
- Related Experience
- Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
- Job Training
- Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
- Job Zone Examples
- These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, tellers, and dental laboratory technicians.
- SVP Range
- 3 months to 1 year of preparation (4.0 to < 6.0)
Training & Credentials
Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:
High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
Less than high school diploma required
Post-secondary certificate required
Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Rate Control — The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
Response Orientation — The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
Spatial Orientation — The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
Glare Sensitivity — The ability to see objects in the presence of a glare or bright lighting.
Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Night Vision — The ability to see under low-light conditions.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Peripheral Vision — The ability to see objects or movement of objects to one’s side when the eyes are looking ahead.
Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Wages & Employment Trends
- Median wages (2021)
- $23.23 hourly, $48,310 annual
- State wages
- Local wages
- Employment (2020)
- 1,951,600 employees
- Projected growth (2020-2030)
Average (5% to 10%)
- Projected job openings (2020-2030)
- State trends
- Top industries (2020)
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data
and 2020-2030 employment projections
“Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
- State job openings
- Local job openings